Gender Inequality After 55 Years of the Equal Pay Act of 1963

April 13, 2018

The University of Alabama School of Law, Tuscaloosa
8:30 a.m.
5, including 1 hour of ethics

               The enactment of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 was a milestone achievement in the fight towards gender equality in the United States. At the time of its passage, women earned nearly 59% of the amount earned by their male counterparts while performing the same work. An amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, the Equal Pay Act prohibits sex-based wage discrimination “for equal work on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions.”

               Though the gender wage gap has been significantly narrowed, an argument can be made that the goals of the Equal Pay Act have not been achieved. While white women now earn, compared to their white male counterparts, 82 cents on the dollar, the statistics look strikingly grim for women of color: black women earn 65 cents on the dollar, and Latina women earn 58 cents on the dollar. The reality of the gender wage gap becomes clearly visible when looking at statistics of transgender individuals. A study published by the B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy shows that the earnings for female transgender workers fell by almost one-third following their transition.

American society is on the cusp of a gender revolution. Transgender men and women are taking to the courts to demand for the equal protection of the law. In unprecedented numbers, women are taking to the streets to secure their autonomy, both physical and societal. And the power of women, coming together to shape the future of our country, extends beyond the seemingly unending battle for reproductive rights. Some of the most influential social justice movements of this decade–for example, Black Lives Matter, and the NoDAPL and Women’s March movements–were created and led by women. As is often the change with successful social justice movements, for the advancements gained through the efforts of activists to be secured requires a change in the legal paradigm.

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8:30                 Registration and Continental Breakfast                    

9:00 – 9:15      Welcome and Introduction

                        Mark Brandon         
                        Dean and Thomas E. McMillan Professor of Law
                        The University of Alabama School of Law

                        Gonzalo Rodriguez
                        Editor-in-Chief, Alabama Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Law Rev

9:15 - 10:15    Session I - Invisible No More: Challenging Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color

                         Andrea Ritchie                  
                        
Researcher-in-Residence on Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Criminalization at the Social Justice Institute of the Barnard Center for Research on Women

10:15- 10:30    Break

10:30-11:30 Session II - Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination in a Shifting Legal Landscape

                          Adam Romero
                         
Director of Legal Scholarship and Federal Policy, and Arnold D. Kassay Scholar of Law, The Williams Institute

11:30 - 11:45 Break

 11:45 - 1:15 Session Ill - Lunch and Keynote Speaker Applying Title IX to the Performing Arts

                          Mary Anne Case
                         
Arnold I. Shure Professor of Law University of Chicago School of Law

1:15-1:30         Break

1:30 -  2:30      Session IV - The Statutory Public Interest in Closing the Pay Gap

                          Stephanie Bornstein
                          Associate Professor of Law University of Florida Law School

2:30                 Adjourn